Why is it so difficult to live a life without sin? Some in the Ephesian church didn’t have a tough time dealing with sin—they embraced it. Paul wrote them concerning this in the Letter to the Ephesians.
He wanted to remind them that there was a spiritual war going on and they were either fighting with God, against God or caught in the middle. This war wasn’t for earthly territory but a heavenly (spiritual) territory—their hearts and mind.
I have included the full text for this post below:
Ephesians 4:17-24 (NIV)
17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.
20That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
A big part to win this spiritual battle was to live our lives as God wants us to. In Ephesian 4:17-24 Paul gives us an example of how not to live. “…you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.” He proceeds to give us a list of the spiritual problems associated with living a life of sin.
A Sinful Life Produces:
- Futile Thinking (v.17)—sinful pursuits produce the kind of thinking that is worthless. Sin is as much a part of the mind as it is the heart or soul. (Ezekiel 20:32)
- Darkened Understanding and a Life Separated From God (v.18)—hard hearts produce a defect in our ability to understand Godly principles, which produces a separation from a life that is filled with God. (Matthew 15:6, 19)
- Lack of Sensitivity to God’s Holiness (v.19)—there is a spiritual numbness that occurs when we participate in sin or faster still when we live lives of sin. (Leviticus 19:2)
- Dissatisfaction (v.19)—one sin leads to another, the very nature of sin is an ever increasing desire for more sin. Sin is all-consuming in little portions as it is in large portions. (James 1:15)
Paul calls this sinful living “the Old Self.” These qualities were part of the old you—before you came to know Jesus. Now that you know Jesus, it’s time to put on “the New Self.” We were not taught by Christ that we should live in sin.
We were taught by Jesus to put off the desires of the flesh (Matthew 16:24), which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of our minds (John 8:11, John 5:14); putting on the New Self, created to be like God. A new-opposite-sin-life produces the opposite effects of sin in our lives.
A Sin-Free Life Produces:
- Fertile Thinking—our thinking grows and we start to expand that thinking into our actions.
- Enlightened Understanding—God wants to reveal more and more of Himself to us, sin-free living will allow your Bible reading to become crystal clear.
- Sensitivity to God’s Holiness—God is Holy! Living a sin-free life makes us more like Him (be Holy, for I am Holy). The more we live Holy the more we will know how God wants us to live. A rule book isn’t needed for someone pursuing God’s Holiness. (Hebrews 12:10)
- Total Satisfaction—Life will become pleasurable because our sin-free life connects us to God! God pours out all of Himself and we are able to receive Him without any encumbrance.
God has so many good plans for every Christian’s life. Part of that plan is that we live our life apart from sin.
God wants you to live a life free from sin!
Do you have a sin problem? Are your actions in contradiction to God’s Word?
God has shown us through the Word and through life that sin is not a victimless crime. Jesus came to this earth to deal with the long-term effects of sin on our lives—eternal death. His sacrifice for us—dying on the cross—gives us eternal life (John 3:16). Our wonderful God, knew however that humans lived in real-time and need help while they are awaiting eternal life. That is why Jesus said He would not leave us alone, but will send the Holy Spirit—God’s power to overcome sin! (John 14:26)
If you haven’t, receive God’s Holy Spirit into your life by simply asking, “Lord fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I might live a life of victory.” Believe that you receive! (Acts 19:2) Read the next paragraph for more solutions.
Already walking in the Lord but struggling? It’s time to get your brothers and sisters involved. Seek the Lord together concerning your sin (1 John 2:1). Fast and pray, read God’s Word, fill yourself up with so much God there isn’t any room for sin (Romans 12:21). Make it your business to learn how to overcome sin through Scripture. Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed! (John 8:36)
Make a commitment today to put on the New Self, to living life apart from sin.
If you are reading this and say to yourself, “I don’t know Jesus like that,” then this is a perfect time for you to know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The Bible teaches us that if we believe in Jesus Christ we will have eternal life. Not just any person named Jesus, but the Jesus found throughout the Bible, God’s One and Only Son.
Knowing Jesus isn’t difficult, read God’s Word! Want to receive Jesus into your life, then speak to God (pray) and say, “Jesus, come into my life, I need you, I believe that you are God’s only Son and that you died on the Cross to save me from sin and to give me eternal life.”
If you prayed those words, believing them, then the Bible says that you have entered into God’s family (John 1:12). Now, find a church that teaches the Bible and seeks to grow you in this new life you have just entered.